Monday, November 30, 2009

Craft Buffet, season one.

Hello, dear people! Craft Buffet, season one is nearly upon us.

Guess what? I am hosting an art sale at the end of December along with Lisa King and Heather Bays of I Heart Arts (click to check them out). We are calling this event Craft Buffet because it will be a shitmix/smorgasbord of art and crafts. Enlarge the poster for more information. This is the first poster of two! Keep your eyes peeled as they pop up around town and be sure to spread the good word.

We want to throw an art party in the middle of the afternoon because we believe in the young artists of this city. I do at least. Winnipeg has a really good art scene and our fingers are crossed that the Craft Buffet will help better establish some of Winnipeg's hidden talent. We are starting small, but would be psyched if people are into the idea. I just made the poster, it is fresh as. Enjoy.

If anyone is willing to take five posters (or so) to put up in legit places, send me a message or call my cell. We are excited. Yes we are. Oh, we have a blog in the making for said event. Click HERE to see.

Danke schoen.

In Studio Portraits.

Last fall at the height of my Prowling Boot phase, my friend Cara Bass (Sea Bass) shot a roll of portraits for her porfolio. I was bartending an art show at Martha Street at the time, so we slipped downstairs to shoot away from the madness of the gallery opening upstairs. I am not a model, I do not know what to do with my face or my hands but Sea Bass knew what was up. Yesterday I walked in to work only to find an issue of Border Crossings filled to the tits with beautiful loose prints from last year's shoot.

Cara, you are amazing and these are beautiful. These will be for my kids someday. Thank you, I am sincerely appreciative.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mother daughter camp.

Oh and just in case anyone forgot. I love my daughter--Jessica Alba. I always thought those moms who brag about being best friends with their daughters were talking smack, but now I know it to be true. Isn't she lovely?

Yes she is. This is a recent photograph. I think it is terribly important to photograph one's bicycles; but that is just me.


I'll stop.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


In my home, in the dim light I said, “I am going on a musical journey tonight” to no one in particular, and slid old Sufjan Stevens onto my turntable with conviction. Liza and I just hung up the phone and we whispered our fears and talked a blue endless streak into our respective telephones.

I kept picturing you tucked into the bathroom on your floor, sitting on a lidded toilet in the back corner with your knees folded up under your chin. I also saw soft mauve walls and one ply toilet paper. Anyway, we chatted, coloring the sky with our tri province banter. Liza, I love you on the phone. And after finishing our conversation about future husbands and the importance of sureness in love and the cruciality of taking risks in our young lives while we are still in the age bracket where it is socially acceptable (and expected) to do so, we hung up the phone after saying "I love you" first. I love you.

So, go.

Be a lover, because that is what you are.

This afternoon I had a terrifying moment while rocking Bram’s three-month-old baby, Bravery (Avery) to sleep in my arms inside the bakery that raised me. Eleanor, a well-loved old coworker of mine came up to me mid-rock and said, “Madge, if you don’t get married and have babies for the rest of us soon that would be a damn shame”. And I shocked myself by hearing my inner voice take on my outer voice and wailing, “I knowww” in response to her statement. Damn that inner voice know-it-all. What? That life? Really? Yes. Apparently.

Terrifying considering the fact that there are no prospects or potential suitors in sight (nor in this city that are not too young [sigh, Justin Budyk], turds, married, liars, pretentious or under 40). Trust me, I have looked. So with that knowledge in hand, what does one do in the interim?

We take train trips!
We go to Europe alone!
We get our dream jobs without the post secondary education hoo-ha (fuck that)!
We run cafés (beautiful ones, the ones we saw in our dreams)!
We (some of us) have babies and are good at it!
We make art for the joy, not for the money!
We wear wigs and flirt with Miguel from Passions!
We love each other fiercely!
We take bathes (not together) and roll joints over the side of the tub!
We sew (some of us)!
We needle felt honest art!
We have dumb jobs to pay the rent!
We can’t afford our lives!
We laugh and buy that dress in the window anyway!
We bake, because we want to!
We listen to old Sufjan Stevens because his music is beautiful!
We mail each other things to remind the receiver that they are remembered!
We appreciate matching cutlery!
We drink wine in well-lit rooms!

We tell each other we love each other because it is important.

We do all of these things. I do all of these things, or at the very least would like to do all of these things (among hundreds of thousands of others). As a young person, I am very lucky to be surrounded by (or at the very least attached to) many amazing people scattered all over the place.

Today I had this funny memory flash past of this girl I met while planting. Her name was Sarah McCaw and she was pretty young (19) but she was on the quest for cool. Sadly, in my humble experience, that quest goes on for another period of time until you reach the age where you simply relax into the person you are and stop searching for cool. You just are. We are what we are. I am what I am. McCaw (everyone in the bush called her McCaw, but in the way that you would talk to a parrot. With vigor. McCAW! I never heard people just say her name, it was always yelled) hadn’t discovered that yet because it is something one eventually figures out on one’s own. Anyway, one day we were thrown into the back hip of this shit piece of land cut into a three-piece pie (but not your average round pie, more like a long, trapezoidal flat sheet pie). Anyway, it was divided between four of the girl rookies (which I quietly took offense to after seeing the Gravytrain land that some of the rookie men got to plant to the East of us. Humph) and we were given creative freedom over how we wanted to close out the land. McCaw and I took the middle because it had a low lying swamp at the very back and anyone with competitive streak knows that that is always a great way to up your numbers. Dumping a lot of closely planted trees into extremely soft land and doing all of this while you run. Genius. It is also a good way to up morale in the morning, planting a swamp I mean.
So there we were, running and planting at about ten in the morning when all of the sudden I noticed that McCaw was planting sans pants. What the hell? Planting in one’s gitch is never a good idea. I have never done it myself due to
A. bugs or more specifically savage Black Flies (spawns of Satan)
B. chafing on the hips thanks to your seventy pound bags rubbing against your thighs 3000 times a day
C. combining bare legs and Boreal forest jungleland is recipe for unwelcome blood.

Anyway, she was into it. I stood there slack-jawed, leaning against my shovel and witnessing this amazing girl become a lady before my very eyes. Planting in her underpants, in a piece of land in the middle of BF nowhere in the Capital of Nothingness (the land looked like a scene out of McCarthy’s The Road) just for the hell of it. At that very moment, gone were the days of tripping-teendom for her. Gone are the days of tripping-teendom for me. Thank the good Lord above for that.

I will never forget that moment of understanding or the simple awe that washed over me. It was only a quick moment, but it was relevant for both McCaw and I without passing any words or even sharing the experience. I think it is just fine to take time to remember how retarded we all were at one point in time. I wonder if anyone witnessed the very moment where I switched from turd to human? I hope so, whatever the moment. I hope it was epic and cause for much laughter on my viewer's part. I hope I was wearing a sailor hat on Academy Road while walking an ugly dog that I hated while dating an equally retarded-phased boy. I hope it was funny as all get out. Good God Almighty, I hope so.

I guess to explain to anyone that has ever wondered, that/this is why I am a person who plants trees now. And that/this is the reason why I will continue to do this for as long as my body allows it because moments like McCaw's are a dime a dozen. Something epic happens internally every day out there. Not to mention externally as well. The weather systems of Northern Ontario are in a league of their own. As a Manitoban, I had no idea that a person could experience upwards of ten or eleven types of weather in a single day. It was mind boggling. I made many interesting life choices while planting because there were an innumerable amount of days made up of such vast and deep and distraction-free learning, that working fourteen hours a day and then coming home and noticing for the first time that I had a black eye and a river's width of dried blood going from my nose all the way down to my nipples became a normal affair. (And anyone who knows my nose knows that I have nosebleeds of the epic proportion).

The moment you stop noticing some things and start paying attention to other things is the moment you become addicted to it. That happened about day five. What would be considered a medical emergency in the city becomes laughable in the bush. Once I somehow managed to get hung up upside-down with fully loaded bags on (which duly emptied themselves, all 500 strategically packed Jack Pine of them) in a clusterfuck of this grotesquely overgrown thorn tree and there was nothing I could do about it. I struggled, waited, fought, waited, cried hard for about thirty seconds, waited, gave up, yelled profanities so loud that someone later asked who the sailor on the Block was, eventually wrestled my way out and carried on. The way life normalizes there is ridiculously laughable.

I guess that is what I miss. But being back in the city is very nice too. The cycling alone! Oh my God!!!!!! Plus, there is no way in hell I would trade this extended Fall season and a reason to wear a wool cape everyday for the ridiculousness of the bush right now. It is a season and right now, it is not that season.

Enjoy Fall while she lasts, all.

Goodnight, I love you.

To me, those stories are worth more than all the dollar bills in all the land. And I have seen some shit land, let me tell you. Then again, I have seen some pretty amazing land too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Future suture.

I think I want to get into textile design, children's wear and photography. The holy trinity of design in my brain. I think these three things would be a happy marriage of everything I appreciate in life: nice fabric, pretty babies and beautiful photography. Now, how to go about this without spending one million doll hairs on post secondary? Hmm. In the meantime, I am off to Staples to find ordinary stuff to print on.

Aren't these kids babes? I think so. The boy in the rain slicker holding the fox is my favorite. Memo to self, marry a ginger (Luke Marvin, what was our cut off loneliness/marriage age agreement again? 34?) with an appreciation for rain slickers, lace up boots and babies. Image stolen without permission.

Love, Madge

Friday, November 20, 2009

Soft mountain report.

NeoCitran cocktails for one at Casa Madge this evening.

Someone called me a bachelorette the other day and I laughed aloud and agreed. I suppose I am.

Today while carting spent dishes from the desk to the kitchen sink (inconveniently located in the bathroom), I sighed and said "I am alone. I am entirely alone" aloud. My heart said it, my head did not. My head was too busy being full of haze and that weighty garbage feeling that comes along with sickness. So I am alone. I have been alone for quite some time now, but today, maybe because it was spoken directly from the heart, it felt really official.

In the waking hours between waves of T3 induced sleep, my eyes blinked open under the million blankets to negotiate the time of day based on the amount of light in my home while my body skillfully sweat out toxins by the bucketload. I poked my head out and looked around. Jessica was leaning against the wall in her usual spot (spots of light blinked off her shiny new pedals, she rides like a dream these days), The Surly was hanging precariously from the ceiling and things were in their usual places, and my body was terribly out of sorts but I still felt okay.

Eventually, I rose from beneath my soft mountain to make eggs and toast and to drink a tall glass of milk (something I rarely do) and again I said "I am alone" aloud, as if stating the obvious would make a difference. I am indifferent of the difference. But happily indifferent.

My mum turned and looked at me the other day after I shared some good news with her and she said "you are coming into yourself" and if I had feathers, they would have chosen that moment to puff up from the plume. It is amazing how normal my mother is able to make me feel sometimes. I think it is one of her special talents, normalizing her children.

There is no point to this entry, I just felt like announcing that I am alone (as if announcing it aloud to myself three times in the quiet of my quarantined home was not enough). I have been printing my face off and am very pleased with the new direction of my work. For months this summer, I quietly grieved the fact that I was not making anything beautiful or taking any photographs but this extended Autumn season seems to have done wonders for my art scope.

Thank you El Niño. You rule. Speaking of wacky temperatures, back to the soft mountain I go hi ho. I have a malady to sweat out.

Here is a small sample of new work that I have been busy preparing for a few upcoming art sales. Sleeping and eating, two things that I can do just fine on my own thankyouverymuch.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spraycation pt.2

I never thought I would say it, but I miss Spray. My pal Lindsay just posted a bunch of photos from our summer in the bush and I had no idea how badly I needed to see said photos until I laid eyes upon them. It is not necessarily the act of the job (the work itself was terrible), but it is the land, the air, wearing the same garbage clothes and boots everyday, the plain weathered skin, the frustration and the learning, the quiet, the wind that I miss. Everyday I miss it. I am not sure why, but it feels important and relevant. It is almost as if posting these images ensures that they will not be shaken loose from memory. I am unsure. Regardless, it was an important season and these people were a part of it. For that, I am grateful.

L, thank you for these and for the reminder itself. I miss you as well. I will write very soon dear woman.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Prettiest girl in all the land.

This is Olive. She is so gorgeous it is almost sinful. If I could eat any baby, I would choose to eat her. Olive, meet everyone. Everyone, meet Olive DuPlooy. Good grief. Her parents Gareth and Dayna are obviously babes too.

I love babies. And I love this one in particular.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Side project.

Oh, another thing, I now write for Martha Street Studio's post. Click here if you would like to see a glimpse of the place that I have fallen in love in the past year. I really do love Martha Street. It is ridiculous. Whenever I smell anything that sort of smells like the solvent room, I always say "mmm mmmm" aloud. I can never help myself. It is a brilliant place and I am proud to work alongside the printers there. More photos to come (on the Martha Street blog).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fresh Prints.

I can barely feel my arms. I have never printed so fast and so hard in my life. I am happy to report that after a seven month hiatus in the studio, I am back in the saddle. The people from 'This ain't your Grandma's Craftsale' approached me as to whether or not I would be interested/available to silkscreen their annual poster. By hand. 120 of them. Oh my. With no job and a wild desire to back back in the studio, naturally I said yes. It was a lot of work. The third layer was a complete bastard. The first, second and fourth layers were complete dreams.

I'm back. I'm back.

Next on the roster, posters for The Mix, an art sale/craftsale that I will be a part of in a few weeks. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mama Gander's wise words.

For every evil under the sun,
There is a remedy, or there is none.
If there be one, seek till you find it;
If there be none, never mind it.

- an excerpt, Mother Goose

(I read this last night while curled up in bed with a tattered copy of Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic. Whoa, good first page. I cannot help myself; I always weigh the potential of the book in hand based on the fluidity and charm of the first page. Hoffman nailed it).

Sunday, November 1, 2009


The above photo is a During picture. Below that is an After picture. The photos below are Before pictures. This morning was not one of my finest. Wilted bunny. Halloween was one for the books. I wrote this last night while waiting for my guests to arrive:


A priest smokes outside, pacing on the sidewalk. His cross swings with each step. A French bunny sits inside, drinking wine, and typing precariously so her freshly painted nails won’t bugger up. Devendra sings in his mother tongue on the north side of the red house. Yellow curtains are swished to one side of the window impatiently and the traffic blurs past, unabated by the rabbit girl standing in the giant window frame.

I am waiting for my guests.

There is bread and oil and vinegar, there is chocolate, cheese, carrots and wine aplenty. Trick or treat.

I am wearing a rabbit hood from the Forties (it is nearly crumbling it is so old), a fakey fur jacket the perfect shade of winter white, the heavy rimmed glasses (I only wear the black frames when I want to feel like a spy), a satin pin up body suit from the Fifties the color of lapis lazuli. Grey pantyhose expose more thigh than ever before and the sky-high patent tuxedo heels do not help. To finish, there is an oversized pink raw hemmed silk bowtie with white polka dots.

It is Halloween.

Better yet, it is my first Halloween in this amazing neighborhood.

I just looked out the window while surveying my neighborhood from above. After spotting the smoking priest, I saw a leopard being zipped up in a tight, tight bodysuit behind the till at Ragpickers. My eyes shifted and I saw Trainor walking to the corner wearing nothing but a black bra, a black tutu, black polka dot tights, unbelievable shoes, and a million black feathers encasing her giant hair. Instantly I snapped my fingers and said, “crow” to myself. She knocked on my door on her way up to the sixth floor (I am on the first floor) and said she was a crow. After Trainor, I saw the boys from Royal Canoe drive up and pull away. After they drove away, some fair lady from My Fair Lady swept down the stairs leading up to the second level of Ragpickers (my favorite vintage store) and poked her gigantic-hatted head out the door. Our eyes met (I was still standing in the window) and I curtsied and she did too in her giant frock. Her hat fell off and I felt bad.

After my guests come and the wine is gone and the food consumed, we will walk one block (in our tallest shoes) to Ace Art where Sula’s party is unfolding as I type.

I love Halloween. BYOTC.


Now I am sitting at the coffeeshop, poaching internet and listening to Andrew Bird. Everything hurts. My head hurts. Good party. I woke up naked and holding a brick of cheese. Oh to be young. As good as this year was, I couldn't help but wish a certain Ursula and the Sun himself were at my thigh high side last night. Next year.

I need to go drink a liter of water.